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What can cause grand mal seizures?

Hello. I have a question. I started to have grand mal seizures only in my sleep starting 5 years ago in 2009. There is no family history of epilepsy or seizure disorder in my family. But there is mental illness in my family as well as sleep apnea. I took Dilantin, then Phenytoin, then Tegretol for my seizures. After taking the seiz. med. for a year I stopped them because of emotional and personality problems, and also because of memory loss.

Right now I take no seizure meds for my seizures. I have one maybe two seizures a month, then sometimes I go a month or so without a seizure, then the next month I may have two seizures. All my seizures only happen in my sleep. I am currently unemployed but looking for work. I have no health insurance and therefore can't afford seiz. meds. anyways. After the problems I had with them I would rather have seizures then take meds to stop them. I don't like seiz. meds and think they are worse than stopping the seizures.

My question is this. How can someone know their seizures are caused by some genetic disorder like epilepsy and not caused by some kind of chemical poisoning? I always thought grand mal seizures were caused by epilepsy? Can my seizures be caused by some chemical poisoning? The seizure meds I used to take stopped the grand mal seizures I have. When dr.s first diagnosed me with seizures, they did blood tests but found nothing out of the ordinary, so that makes me think my seizures are real grand mal seizures caused by some genetic disorder like epilepsy. Does anyone know the answers to my questions? Thank you.



Re: What can cause grand mal seizures?

Epilepsy is not necessarily a genetic disorder.

A seizure of any kind is an electrical impulse hitting wrong in the brain which causes a chain reaction. My epilepsy is caused by scared brain tissue from a blow to the head. That blow could have knoked me out. A car accident can do that as a fall to the ground and hitting your head. Try looking up nocturnal epilepsy. Generally that kind of epilepsy have the seizures when you are asleep.

As for being without medications you can generally get a 6 month supply when you can show them you are unemployed and you have a limited income. States also have ways to get medications. Many county hospitaals have ways to get medications.

Are you aware that if you have grande mal epilepsy you could go into status epilepticus? If you don't you might want to research that Statis Epilepticus is one convulsive seizure after another. I know I have had it and it wasn't fun and it is very dangerous. If you think a grand mall is bad try having 40 convulsions an hour and understand I blacked out after the third.

If you check with your doctor find out what tests were done. If he had an EEG then that would show any abnormalities (seizure activity) It wuld also tell him where the activity was comig from which can also tell him the typs of seizures you have.

As for medications there are new ones that target certain types of seizured. Many will not make you as drosy and dilantin did. I know I  took dilantin for about 30 years.

Hoe this helps


Re: What can cause grand mal seizures?

Like joe said, most epilepsy is Not genetic. They are many causes to include head trauma, structural abnormalities of the brain, underlying metabolic deficiencies, meningitis, encephalitis, cancer, rumors , unexplained, etc. etc. good luck

Re: What can cause grand mal seizures?

Thank you to the people who commented on my post. I know grand mal seizures can be caused by many things. We still don't know what caused me to have grand mal seizures. They could have happened from when I hit my head several times as a kid while growing up. One time I was at the park with my older sister and I was on the really big slide, looking down, the next thing I knew I was on the ground with dirt up my nose and in my mouth. I don't remember falling, I just remember being on the ground with dirt in my nose and mouth. Another time I was sitting on a bar stool and put my nightgown over my legs and under my feet. I remember leaning down and the next thing I knew I was on the floor face down and started to cry. I don't know if I hit my head or not. 

My boyfriend found a webpage on the Net last night about this biologist in England who proposed a theory that Epilepsy is caused by a bacteria Toxoplasmosis found in cat feces. He did a study of people with epilepsy and found out that all of them had cats throughout their lives. The cats eat small animals like rodents and birds that are infected with this bacteria and then it is passed to the humans through the cat feces. Since the 1920's, pregnant women were warned by dr.s to stay away from cat feces because there is a chance that this bacteria can be spread from the mother to the baby. There has been a notable case where a pregnant woman, an actress, got toxoplasmosis. There has also been a famous painter who painted cats and he got toxoplasmosis from prolonged exposure to cats. He also developed schizoprenia.

When I was a baby, I have several pictures of me on the floor next to a cat. I am quite sure when my mom was pregnant with me, they had cats.

I am not saying my seizures are caused by toxoplasmosis, but it is an intruiging thought. More research needs to be done on it.

I wanted to tell you Joe that I had an EEG test done, and it came back negative. But I had the test done months after I had my first seizure 5 years ago. I found out later that I should have had the EEG done the day I had the first seizure, not months later. And it should have been done while I was sleeping, not awake. I have my seizures only while sleeping and seizure activity is not going to show up while I am awake. It only shows up while I am sleeping and the dr. should have known this. But it was at a charity hospital I went to for the EEG test so what did I expect? They are most likely behind the times in their diagnosis and treatments. 

Well that is all. Have a nice day everyone.


Re: What can cause grand mal seizures?

I see that you wanted me to know that you had an EEG and that it came up negotive. Fine that happens and it is not due to malfunctions in the equipment. I too had EEGs come up negative but not 1. I had at least 15-20. I was also in a hospital that ran a battery of tests to see why I was having seizures. Believe me you would not want those tests run on you/ Back then technology was not like it is now.Kennedy was still president so the CT scan wasn't arounnd neither was the MRI. how ever they still do spinal taps which ain't realy fun. The last test they ran was another EEG and during that EEG I fell asleep. By falling asleep they found an abnormality (seizure activity). Whit that they went back to a test that would be about like a MRI only the 1960's version.I believe it is a neuro-angeoplasty. They pump air up into your head and take x-rays. Knowning where in the brain the seizure activity cam from they focused in that area.  They found scared brain tissue caused earlier in my life. That scared tissue is wher my seizures come from.

As for what was found on the web and cats causing epilepsy because they eat rodents and birds. I had a dog that ate rabbits does that mean my dog caused my epilepsy? The drocot may have talked to the people but does he have positive proof that cats cause epilepsy? Understand I can interview lots of people asking many questions and use their answers to prove the sky is red or green even tho what most people see is blue.

 But it was at a charity hospital I went to for the EEG test so what did I expect? They are most likely behind the times in their diagnosis and treatments. With a statement like that you might think those charity hospitals don't know what needs to be done and they don't help anybody.  I too have used charity hospitals for assistance. I knew I could get the care I needed and not go to an ER which would jack up the charges and bill me later. You see I have been around this world for many years and know that in almost every town there are free clinics which can help in many ways. I also know that if approched with a problem like your they can and do contact doctors who can look at things. All 3 of my doctors can and do answer calls from several different clinics here in Dallas. 

Hop you get the assistance you need


Hi- I've had seizures in my

Hi- I've had seizures in my sleep about every 6 weeks for the past year. Wondered if you found any answers? I've been researching, going through many tests...the latest theory is that I have sleep apnea, caused by swollen thyroid (goiter), causing me to choke in my sleep. Loss of oxygen can cause nocturnal seizures. Thanks if you can reply!

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